Nick Gardner

Nick's Munro Challenge

Fundraising for Royal Osteoporosis Society
raised of £25,000 target
by 657 supporters
Royal Osteoporosis Society

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1102712
We are driving research into bone health to create a future without osteoporosis


When my dear wife, Janet, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and Osteoporosis, I wanted to do something to benefit sufferers and carers everywhere.

I was 80 in April 2020 and my challenge was to raise £50,000 for Alzheimer Scotland and the Royal Osteoporosis Society by climbing the 282 Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet) in 1200 days.

Sadly Janet passed away in December 2022.

Fortunately I was able to complete my challenge and surpass my fundraising target. I completed the challenge on 13th August 2022 (in less than 800 days) and raised over £80,000.

I was delighted to win the Just Giving Fundraised of the Year 2022 in the Endurance category.

I also hold the Guinness World Record for the Oldest Person to Bag the Munros.  

My Story

As a small boy in Leicestershire, England l was fascinated by mountains. So I think it was destined that one day I would live in the Scottish Highlands. When I was 50, I achieved my ambition and bought a traditional highland croft in North West Scotland with my wife Janet. It had always been my intention to climb the Munros but l found the unique atmosphere of my local mountains in Wester Ross so magnetic that I rarely went further afield. I therefore never did climb them all.

Buying the croft also enabled me to pursue my other passions: gardening and being self-sufficient.

Janet’s Story

Janet was a primary school teacher until we moved north. Whereas she wasn’t a mountaineer she loved walking in wild places and encouraging wildlife. She, too, was a passionate gardener.

Her health began to deteriorate in 2002 with osteoporosis but despite having spontaneous spinal fractures she persisted in doing her share in the garden. Then, in 2018 came the devastating news that she had Alzheimer’s Disease as well as Vascular Dementia.

Many people have described Janet as being the most gentle and compassionate person they have ever met. She has been the most wonderful and caring wife, mother and grandmother possible and I am eternally grateful that l fell in love with her.

Our Story

When Janet and I met we instantly realised that we had the same outlook and many common interests. It wasn’t long before we fell in love and became a perfect couple.

We often talked about how lucky we were to have met. There was never any doubt in our minds that our relationship was eternal.

We had both been married before and had 4 children between us. We both wanted to live a similar lifestyle, so when the children left home, we moved up from suburbia to the 10-acre croft. The land was mainly moorland, devoid of trees, but with an acre of good soil.

We wanted to create a woodland on the croft and cultivate the good soil for fruit, vegetables and flowers. We were quickly able to be almost self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables, but establishing the woodland took much longer. It was not easy, but by working together we saw the moorland gradually blossom into a mature woodland, at times even with a temperate rainforest atmosphere.

We were able to ‘live the dream’ for 30 loving years.

The Challenge

Janet’s diseases meant that our wonderful lifestyle ended abruptly, and l had, and still do, great difficulty coming to terms with it. I didn’t know what to do. Then a story appeared in a newsletter from the Alzheimer’s Society where a young woman, who had no climbing experience, climbed 20 Munros in memory of her grandfather, who had the disease.

This inspired me; I thought: “Could l, as an 80-year-old climb all the Munros?”
I am an experienced walker and climber and believe I have the skills, stamina and fitness to achieve it.
So, my answer was: “Yes, I will give it a go, and raise money for Alzheimer’s Scotland and Royal Osteoporosis Society”.
Thus, the challenge was born.


Many thanks to final year Stirling University students for creating Moving Mountains:

to Simon Badham for creating The Only Way is Up:

and to Jay Golian for filming me throughout the challenge

About the charity

Royal Osteoporosis Society

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1102712
Better bone health for everybody. We’re proud to be the only UK-wide charity dedicated to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. With more than 30 years of expertise and experience behind us, we are committed to helping keep the nation’s bones stronger for longer.

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